Unauthorised Coal Exploration

Investigations by Hilltop Action Group have found that Provectus Remediation drilled test bore holes on their Hilltop site last October without obtaining the required Exploration Licence from the Coal Authority.

The Coal Authority’s website states:

Any activity which intersects, disturbs or enters any of the Authority’s coal interests requires our prior written authorisation. The following activities require a Licence or Agreement, and are dealt with by the Authority’s Licensing department:

  • The mining of coal
  • Exploration for coal or deep drilling through coal for other purposes (e.g. water abstraction)
  • Underground coal gasification
  • Digging and carrying away of coal during non-coal mining related activities (incidental coal)
  • Exploration and exploitation of coal methane

When Provectus Remediation made their submission to Derbyshire County Council, in January this year, requesting a Scoping Opinion they stated:

In terms of the current proposal, Provectus has land holding interest on land to the north of Clay Cross, immediately west of the A61. PROVECTUS has been considering potential options of developing a surface coal mining scheme at this site. To assist the evaluation process, drilling works have been undertaken between 17th October and 1st November 2011 in accordance with a Coal Authority Licence. Provectus are now considering submitting a planning application seeking planning permission for a surface coal mining operation on the site.

They made an application on 26 October 2011 but failed to follow it through or pay the appropriate fees. The Coal Authority were not aware that exploration work had been carried out until we recently informed them.

The fact that Provectus Remediation were prepared to carry out exploration without obtaining the necessary licence and were prepared to make a false statement in their submission to the Mineral Planning Authority must call into question their competence and suitability to be granted a Surface Mining Operating Licence.

We understand that they were contacted by the Coal Authority in the last few days. The appropriate legal documents have been completed and Provectus Remediation are now bound by the provisions of the Exploration Licence with the Authority.

No doubt Provectus will claim that this was merely an ‘administrative oversight’ or some similar excuse! 

Don’t forget the protest march this Saturday

Start at 10.30am from the Royal Oak, Old Tupton
Tell your friends, neighbours, family and get them to come along
Make a placard and bring a whistle
If you can’t manage the whole route, just join us for part of the march as we come past
Please try not to bring cars – there’s nowhere to park
The weather forecast is good so there is no excuse not to join us

We are expecting lots of media coverage – TV, Radio & newspaper